Our top 10 Fountains of Wayne songs brings us to a band that blended pop delight with alternative and indie rock vibes bringing them great success in the U.S. Formed in New York in 1995, Fountains of Wayne had their music career propelled by their great composition skills, with most of the songs alluding to pathos and humor. There sound is often compared to other popular bands of the 90s and 2000s such as Blink-182, Sum 41, Simple Plan etc.. And thanks to the band’s most influential figure, Adam Schlesinger, for his sublime songwriting skills that made most of their songs tick. Surprisingly, composing music was Adam Schlesinger’s specialty, winning him awards such as the Emmys and Grammys for outstanding songwriting skills. Fountains of Wayne would be established following the meeting of Adam Schlesinger, with vocalist Chris Collingwood at college.
Other founding members include lead guitarist Jody Porter and drummer Brian Young. Fountains of Wayne would entertain rock lovers with their ability to apply their musical understanding to whatever context. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Adam Schlesinger would also be the man behind the formation of Ivy and Tinted Windows bands, having his songwriting skills borrowed by groups like Fever High. Fountains of Wayne would hit commercial success shortly after their formation, releasing hit songs in each of their albums. However, October 2013 would be the last time Fountains of Wayne had a show together as a unit. Their collapse was never issued officially, having the band members refer to the band in the past tense years later.
The COVID-19 pandemic took down masses and among the icons who succumbed to the illness was the band’s most influential member Adam Schlesinger in 2020. While the surviving members reunited in tribute to their fallen figure, they are yet to make moves in the rock music platform boldly as the new Fountains of Wayne. Here are the top 10 Fountains of Wayne songs that showcase to the world the pure talent the band had in terms of exceptional lyrical content and sublime performances.
# 10 – Hackensack
At number ten is the song “Hackensack” from the band’s 2003 album, Welcome Interstate Managers. The song is about a gentleman pondering over a lady he knew years ago in his youth days. Despite the years past, this gentleman still has some deep feelings about the lady even though they all have grown, with the lady moving to LA and becoming quite famous. It’s the gentleman’s wish that the lady returns to Hackensack one day and to him too. “Hackensack” was a great song of its times, having it featured in a 2005 movie, Just Friends.
# 9 – Radiation Vibe
Released as the first single in their self-titled 1996 album, the song “Radiation Vibe” was one of the band’s best-performing songs, giving the band recognition beyond America. While the song attained a peak position of number 14 on the US Alternative Airplay Charts, “Radiation Vibe” would also feature in music charts in Australia, Scotland, and the UK. “Radiation Vibe” brings the best of Chris Collingwood not only in the vocals but in songwriting having him pen its lyrics. With Hem and Male Bonding covering this song, it is without a doubt that “Radiation Vibe” was worthy of being a live favorite for the band and their fans.
# 8 – The Summer Place
Other than the good-looking women in “The Summer Place,” the song remains one of the best releases from the power-pop perennials Fountain of Wayne. Featured in their fifth studio album, Sky Full of Holes, the song “The Summer Place” proved that Fountains of Wayne still had what it takes to become an eternally remembered rock band. The video to this song shows what the subject woman will look like in her old age. In addition, you ought to love the delivery of the song with Collingwood’s vocals harmonizing with the backing vocals of the other band members to bring out a unique performance.
# 7 – Sink to the Bottom
Taking us back to their debut album is the song “Sink to the Bottom,” which was quite a powerful ballad in its times. The song brings on the persona to be with someone who has given up on life. And as you can tell, trying to talk someone out of some dire situation isn’t an easy task. In this context, the singer gets tired of saving the soul from the fangs of giving up too quickly. The result is him giving up too and deciding to sink with the soul he tried to save from giving up. “Sink to the Bottom” received quite a nice reception having it reach a peak position of number 42 on the UK Singles Chart.
# 6 – Mexican Wine
The song “Mexican Wine” found the Fountains of Wayne band at their optimistic best. Featured in their 2003 album, Welcome Interstate Managers, the song “Mexican Wine” proved to be a worthwhile song to introduce their new energy in the power-pop vibe. In addition, the song features some witty and glorious melodic feel that might have helped the album receive quite a positive reception both by Fountains of Wayne fans and the music critics.
# 5 – Denise
We cannot seem to forget Fountains of Wayne’s 1999 album, Utopia Parkway, thanks to the song “Denise.” Watching the video, it’s hilarious seeing how the girl Denise acts like the boss she can be to a man’s heart. It reminds you of how hard-to-get and vulnerable women can be at times. Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger gave the song “Denise” quite a sparkle with their lyrical prowess. In addition, the band’s backing vocals do magical work in helping provide a catchy tune for the song “Denise” alongside Collingwood’s vocals.
# 4 – Someone to Love
The song “Someone to Love” by Fountains of Wayne was probably the highlight of the band’s 2007 album, Traffic, and Weather. While its catchy vibe might draw you in, it’s the juxtaposition of its sublime and acidic lyrics that makes the song quite a hit. The song “Someone to Love” depicts the parallel lives of Seth Shapiro and Beth McKenzie. You ought to love how Fountains of Wayne combined the music-filled hooks with the pathos-filled lyrics proving that they have the art of music deep in themselves.
# 3 – Too Cool for School
“Too Cool for School” brings on some great energy from Fountains of Wayne, proving that they can rock n roll! The song is quite catchy and easy to sing along to. Probably, the lyrics might sound quite funny compared to most of the band’s other songs, but they provide the perfect choice for a song to ending Scary Movie. Despite the song being short, it remains a favorite for some of the Fountains of Wayne fans.
# 2 – Hey Julie
Featured in Fountains of Wayne’s 2003 album, Welcome Interstate Managers, the song “Hey Julie” is probably the best love song ever released. In a great way, you can tell that Julie is the best thing in the persona’s life. To some point, you might wish that you had the lyrics tweaked a little bit by the person you love most, having the name Julie replaced with your name just to feel how much the lover craves for you. The song’s video was quite strange, though, having it bring the persona and his fav dog. Would Julie have been a dog? Well, food for thought, but you can use the song to your advantage to suit a given context.
# 1 – Stacy’s Mom
And now at number one is the best song from the Fountains of Wayne, “Stacy’s Mom,” which proves that Welcome Interstate Managers was the best album ever. The song tells the story of a kid who has a huge crush on her sexy and gorgeous mother. And if you think you have heard it all, Adam surprised many by saying that the song was inspired by a friend who was attracted to his grandmother! Whatever the inspiration, we can all agree that the song was a hit being the highlight of Fountains of Wayne for almost two decades now. “Stacy’s Mom” was a commercial success having it become the most downloaded song on iTunes at a time. Despite not winning the Grammy Award for the Best Vocal Pop Performance in 2004, the song performed well in multiple charts globally hence Fountains of Wayne’s best song to date.
Top 10 article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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